Washington’s commanders sit atop the The NFL Porcelain Throne but they are also kingmakers themselves—for other offences. The defense of Jack del Rio on January 6 fared better in front of Washington fans than his 2022 defensive unit. Jalen Hurts and Devonta Smith both feasted on the Commanders carcasses. Hurts targeted Smith 12 times for 169 yards and a touchdown.
His passing for 340 yards was the third-best in the NFL this week, less than only Josh Allen and Jameis Winston have lost.
Not only did it take Allen 28 more attempts to pass Hurts from 60 yards, but he also failed on 4th and on goal against Miami. Hurts has high caliber guns, but he’s also made high leverage plays. The degree of difficulty of this precise pass on the 4th and Smith’s goal was about 9.5 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Hurts exceeded expectations and calmed the Minshew-mania. However, the Week 3 MVP is none other than Lamar Jackson, who continued his surging Aaron Judge contract year against a Patriots defense that allowed 13.5 points per Sunday throwing over 200. yards, rushing for triple-digit yardage and being responsible for five touchdowns. Bill Belichick had nothing for Jackson. He is of a different race, even from Hurts. He looks like Ohtani in pulling double duty showcasing his home run ability and rushing prowess. Jackson currently ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing, third in yards per attempt (Hurts is first), first in QB rankings and is the league leader in touchdown passes.
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Hurts ran for only 20 yards this week, so while he threw for considerably more yardage than Jackson, the latter made up that difference with his legs. We’ve gotten so used to Jackson’s Tasmanian Devil runs that we don’t even blink when he rushes for 107 yards, as he did on Sunday. Hurts and Jackson are in an early MVP tug-of-war, but Jackson is that dude this week. When Washington blitzed him, he’d dot up their secondary. He threw three touchdown passes against the blitz for the second straight game and has been the league’s best passer when teams send extra rushers at him.
Unlike the Eagles’ runaway train victory, the Ravens were in a tight battle with New England all afternoon. They needed all five of Jackson’s touchdowns. Jackson’s third-and-goal lob to Devin Duvernay in the back corner of the endzone put the Ravens up 28-20. Later, Jackson put the Patriots away in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter with a pair of rushesincluding a score that extended the Ravens’ advantage from a one-game to a two-possession lead.
Least Valuable Player: Jimmy G edges out Justin Fields
Both of our contestants played their worst to deserve this week’s dishonor. For the third straight weekend, Fields threw for less than 130 yards. His eight completions for 107 yards tied with his meager season average, yet the Bears won, showing just how unserious the Texans are in 2022 as they battle for a quarterback. Fields did his best to give the game away, throwing two interceptions, which is even more absurd considering the conservative game plan that has defined the Bears’ season. Fields gave the Texans so many chances The official NFL YouTube channel has forgotten which team he is on. There is still hope that Fields can turn the tide, but it is rapidly diminishing.
The veteran, however, gets the green light because he found himself competing against historically weak Dan Orlovsky. After replacing Trey Lance last week and giving the San Fran offense a spark, Jimmy G had the opportunity to create a buzz around his dipping nose stock.
Instead, for the second consecutive week, Garoppolo missed a wide open receiver that could have gone in for a touchdown. Early in the first quarter, Garoppolo hit Deebo Samuels for an 18-yard gain and then, on the ensuing play, missed it on the right sideline past the Broncos’ busted coverage for what would have been a walk-in touchdown.
On a 2nd-and-10, Garoppolo unraveled after play action, got caught in the pincers of an oncoming Denver pass rush, got nervous and stepped on the baseline for security. It may have been a blessing in disguise for Garoppolo, as his desperate pass was caught at the line of scrimmage by Bradley Chubb and returned for a touchdown.
The game wasn’t entirely Garoppolo’s fault and his safety moonwalk isn’t as blatant as Orlovsky’s. Executing a play action on the goal line when the quarterback has no room to maneuver if a point forward comes flying in was what preceded the Dolphins punt. It’s not like he can throw it either. An intentional ground call from the pocket would also have been an easy two. Orlovsky wasn’t running a bootleg, he just decided to start running on his right and he went further north of the border to make Jon Snow proud. He ran his whole body half a yard in the white paint when he didn’t need to, then kept running to keep the game alive.
Even after all that misfortune, Garoppolo had a chance to pull off a win for San Francisco and save himself from infamy. He opted to throw a game-ending interception in double coverage with a third defender hiding to take him out. Geno Smith played better against this Broncos defense than Garoppolo.